Here’s a familiar story of late: A company’s leader has to step down, for any number of reasons, and the board of directors appoints an Interim CEO. Recent examples include United Airlines, Dupont and Twitter — where Interim CEO Jack Dorsey recently became CEO.
No, it’s not a typo: an Interim CEO is not the same as a CEO, though there are many intersecting skills. An interim executive parachutes in, takes charge, assuages fears and restores confidence, troubleshoots immediate to systemic problems, takes action and plots direction — fast. When the permanent CEO steps in, he or she will find a plan already in action and a direction set. Done well, it’s a nearly seamless handoff. I’ve done this many times. Often, I have to answer some basic questions about just what an Interim CEO is there to do.
Part of being an effective leader is delegating responsibilities to the members of your team. This isn’t something that should be done without thought and intention, as there are strategies to delegating successfully.
Handing tasks over to your team requires confidence in each member’s abilities, as well as taking the time to clearly convey the assignment and supporting the member as needed. Successful delegation may also involve adopting a team spirit and positive attitude that makes you approachable when one of your members needs input or advice.
The three basics for effective delegation that I use every day as CEO of Ox Bonding include the following:
As a CEO, you’re your team’s coach, quarterback, linebacker, and defensive end. Even when there are 20 seconds left in the game and you’re a touchdown short of a win, you’ve got to keep a cool head. In the world of business, it’s your job to direct plays, execute them, and fend off the opposing team.
This is no small responsibility. You’ve got to make the most of every second. When it’s time to prepare for a meeting with an all-important client, you’ve got to take the lead to score that all-important touchdown. If you want to win, you’ll have to organize, prioritize, and act to improve your productivity.
In my 35 years as an executive coach, I have seen some of the world’s most powerful leaders struggle with changing their behavior.
I have come to believe that no one, no matter how determined or passionate, can do it without structure. You might wake up every morning sure that you will spend your day listening better, being more patient or watching less television (or whatever your goal happens to be). But without external structure – a person or a plan to guide you – it will be almost impossible to stay on track.
There is not any book written that is a solution for all. Each human is different, and different things work for each of us individually. A lot of these books share the same principles; however all of them deliver their message in a unique way. Don’t pick and choose which book you think will help you.
Start by reading one you may have heard of before and never got a chance to read then make your way down the list. The books are listed in no particular order, but are all designed to help you gain, develop and master your leadership qualities.
I’m thankful for a solid education – really I am. But I have some crucial things that I’ve had to learn the hard way that they don’t teach you in school. Some of you may think: “Only six!” I’m sure there are a ton of other principles and lessons that I could list or you could (and I encourage you to list them in the comments), but for the purpose of this post, I’m going to go with the first six that came to me. Here we go…
It’s considered common knowledge that congratulating someone for a job well done makes that person feel accomplished and motivated. Yet, in many companies, these simple acts of recognition from managers and co-workers rarely occur. Why is this? It could be that because it is such a simple and easy thing to do, that it is easily overlooked, and soon months have gone by without a single employee receiving positive feedback or appreciation.
Leadership is one of the hot topics among authors, speakers, and gurus in the business world today. Whenever the topic arises, there is the invariable question, “What’s a leader?” There are countless definitions for the word leader and while I’m sure there is some validity in all of them, I am quite certain that a leader is someone that others follow.
There are good leaders and bad leaders. There are many people wanting you to follow them that are not going where you want to go. Pop stars are leaders, government officials are leaders, and corporate executives are leaders, along with many other individuals throughout society. Winston Churchill was a leader as was Adolf Hitler. You cannot confuse the direction of someone’s goal with the definition of them as a leader.